SOPA and “The Great Firewall of America:” what it is and how to kill it

January 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

This will be remembered as the day the web went dark. Today, Mozilla is joining other public interest organizations, everyday internet users around the world, and tech companies from Wikipedia to Reddit to Google.

Together we’re going on “virtual strike” to shine a light on proposed censorship legislation that could effectively create a “Great Firewall of America.”

And we need your voice to help stop it.

What’s going on?

The U.S. Congress is trying to pass legislation that threatens free speech and innovation on the Internet, under the banner of anti-piracy efforts.

This legislation, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and its companion legislation in the US House, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), would give the US government and private business incredible  global censorship powers, damage the Internet’s security, and discourage  innovation and investment worldwide.

Learn more:

Take action:

There’s a week left until Senators return to Washington from their districts, when their vote is scheduled on the PROTECT IP Act. We need to make one last big push by contacting their local offices and asking them not to support PIPA.

If you’re in the U.S.:

If you’re outside the U.S.:

Other ways to get involved

Mozilla FAQ on SOPA

What’s this about?
The U.S. Congress is trying to pass legislation that threatens free speech and innovation on the Internet, under the banner of anti-piracy efforts.

What’s at risk?
These new laws would give the US government and private business incredible  global censorship powers, damage the Internet’s security and discourage  innovation and investment worldwide.

The result?
Your favorite websites, both inside and outside the US, could be blocked based on a single infringement claim, without any due process of law.

How is it done?
The  US will be able to block a site’s web traffic, ad traffic and search  traffic.

What about piracy?
Piracy is a problem but there are better ways to address it that don’t stifle innovation, knowledge and creativity, or give the US such unchecked power over the global Internet.

What is Mozilla doing exactly?
We’ll be redirecting our main mozilla.org and mozilla.com English web sites to an action page for 12 hours on Wednesday, January 18th (8:00 am – 8:00 pm US Eastern Time). Also, the Firefox default start page will be blacked out so 100% of en-US visitors will see our call to action. Usage of Firefox is not limited or effected.

Why not a full blackout?
We hope the blackout of our US sites will educate people about this important issue. Mozilla believes that the individuals’ security on the Internet is fundamental and cannot be treated as optional. Access to the latest and most secure version of Firefox ensures user security. Thus some of the site functionality will stay in place during the blackout.

How long have you been involved in anti SOPA activities?
Mozilla has been actively involved in the stop SOPA activities from the start with our first public facing activities rallying for support in November.

Why does this matter to Mozilla?
The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. These new laws would give the US government and private business incredible censorship powers that would have effects globally, damage the Internet’s security and discourage innovation and investment worldwide.

Is this just a matter for Americans to care about?
The laws will have effects globally, damaging the Internet’s security and discouraging innovation and investment in web technology worldwide. As it is a proposed US law, our call to action focuses on US citizens, asking them to reach out to their representatives.

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§ 3 Responses to SOPA and “The Great Firewall of America:” what it is and how to kill it

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